Facebook Should Not Be In A Safe Harbor

Opinion

Facebook is currently protected by a legal provision called “safe harbor”. The legal definition is that it gives legal protection from liability under specified conditions.

Safe harbor is necessary for such industries that provide the pipes through which data flows because their only purpose is to link two opposing points with information. They do not create the content, they provide the connections between the send and receive points. They should not be responsible for the content they move through their pipes, thus the safe harbor legal provision. The key point in this is these companies must not create any data content.

The phone company links homes and businesses with voice and computer signal data so does internet service providers. The phone company does not create the content; it just move it from place to place.

Visually think in you mind that this company as a pipe company. Pipe companies should not, normally, be sued for what passes through their pipes.

Facebook creates content and moves content. It does two things at the same time. It is similar to the phone company and also a news paper company. Yet, Facebook uses safe harbor as an excuse not to receive any legal claims against it for the content it creates from its “reporters”.  Facebook’s safe harbor arguments are utterly false and legally stupid at any simple level of common reason. Facebook does move content that they do not create thus hugging the safe harbor protection. But, they do create the content when it is put up to their web site platform. Their web site platform now can be thought of as a newspaper creating content. Private text messages between Facebook members would be a pipe movement but once a member puts up any display of a still image, movie, or pronouncement, then those individuals are Facebook “reporters”. Facebook becomes like a newspaper and the person putting up that type of information is acting like a reporter for a newspaper. In once sense, Facebook is a type of electronic newspaper because it is a vehicle of display, not a pipe.  In fact, Facebook “is a fully fledged news organization on a scale we have never seen”.

https://hbr.org/2011/03/facebook-is-the-largest-news-o

With that type of content, Facebook must act to supervise within a reasonable time to remove such content that offends, creates or transmits disinformation, is inflammatory, libelous, or could suffer legal actions against it. In other words, Facebook must not be protected with the provisions of safe harbor.

The United States currently has offered safe harbor protection for Facebook, allegedly for political reasons.   Some of the Facebook staff are Donald Trump supporters such as Peter Thiel a Facebook Inc. board member.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-01/peter-thiel-praises-trump-pledges-to-support-his-2020-campaign

 

Posted May 31, 2019

Why Are Iranian Women Treated Unfairly In Iran?

Opinion

I have spent hours trying to research why Iranian women are not treated as equals to men in their country. The only information I can find is that the Iranian society has always been male dominated. It has been this way and it must remain this way, is the idea I came away with. Just because something has been this way, in the past, does not make it intellectually correct and honorable now. I contend that the Iranian treatment of women has been criminal in the past and is still criminal and I expect it to remain a crime for the future.

Treating women with discrimination is only correct in the minds of ignorant male Iranians for their self serving ego reasons. It seems that this Iranian male problem, with their women, may stem from their insecurity that a women might attain being their equal or, heaven forbid, surpass the attainment of a man’s status.

I thus think Iranian men are afraid of their women, which nicely explains why they must keep them down and in their subordinate place with requirements that each women can not flourish to her potential.

I personally look down upon the ruler’s of Iran for not allowing Iranian women to attain the equality of a man. I look down upon a country that fails the tests of equality.

 

 

Posted May 21, 2019

Continuum Of Treason

Continuum is a mental realization, a mental tool, that we use as a means to realize natural and man made things we view in life. It is a really interesting intellectual way that we can visualize, in our minds, some opposite situations that are related. We are, in effect, placing a mental ruler of varying length between two opposite situations that we see, when those situations lend themselves to be measured together.

For a continuum to work there should be two opposite extremes but they are connected typically by degree. We typically “see” or realize the connection of the two extremes because they shout at us that they are opposite and connected in some way. But, there should be a factor of degree or how much of one side or the opposite side we are looking at and set a value on that point. The word I used is “degree” and that is vitally important to appreciate because it is a concept that will link the two opposite extremes. Typically there is more or less degree of something. There are an incredible number of continuum’s.

Let me offer some simple continuum examples followed by how each can be measured:

  • Light to Dark (Light meter)
  • Happiness to Sadness (Expressions on a person’s face)
  • Dry to Wet (Rain gauge)
  • Still air to Hurricane (Anemometer)
  • Short to Tall (Ruler)

The word “to”, in the above examples means that there can be a transition or movement from one extreme to the opposite extreme or one side to the opposite side. This transition can be short or long or any length. It is up to the person telling or writing where on the continuum scale we are concerned.

A really good continuum is one where the two opposite extremes are far apart because we are more likely to notice the differences. A really good example is the change of seasons. When this takes place in the northern hemisphere where the trees change color and plants go dormant the continuum process is very slow but unmistakable.

Some continuum’s lend themselves to be shown in graphic form.  When showing a continuum graphic, there are some common standards that some people use. Usually a line is used and the end points are labeled as to the minimum at one end and maximum at the other end. Typically the graphic continuum line is horizontal but for some measurements like height it is usually vertical. Let me show you a continuum line for treason (see below).

Accident        Collude        Coordinate         Conspire         Treason
X_______________________________________________X

In the Mueller Report there is a continuum that is revealed in the Introduction To Volume I. This continuum is explained as the degree that the Trump administration worked hand in hand with the Russians. At one end of the continuum is low criminal level called helping, which might be done by “accident”. Next serious might be helping Russia on purpose, called “collusion”, for some implied gain by one or both parties. The next, more serious degree is to “coordinate” with Russia. This third to last degree, coordinate, is considered illegal in the United States. The Mueller Report hones into two points on the continuum, collude and coordinate. For some reason collude is not illegal. Obviously coordinate is illegal because it implies BOTH parties are working together for a single purpose. But, I propose that coordinate might also mean that BOTH parties were working together but avoided detection.

Conspire, second to the last right side continuum point, is definitely a crime.  The Mueller Report failed to establish this activity took place by the Trump administration.

The last, far right, point on the continuum is treason and this is definitely illegal. It is a bit different in that it specifies that individuals actually work against the interests of the country.  The Mueller Report did not show examples of this continuum extreme by the Trump administration.

Let me state this again. In the Mueller continuum he talks about three out of the five main continuum measure points:  collude,  coordinate and conspire. The continuum begins with less formal and works toward more formal working together between Trump administration and Russia. Let’s read the definition of all five continuum points:

Accident: “an event that happens by chance or that is without apparent or deliberate cause”. Obviously we have no concern for individuals in the Trump administration helping Russia by accident.  This is the low end of the continuum, non criminal.

Collude: “cooperate in a secret or unlawful way in order to deceive or gain an advantage over others”.  This sure sounds like we are getting close to criminal activity.

Coordinate: “negotiate with others in order to work together effectively” implying, in this case, that the Trump administration was working with Russia toward some nefarious end.  But, “”coordination” does not have a settled definition in federal criminal law”.  The Mueller Report states that coordination requires an agreement – tacit or expressed – between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government on election interference.  The Mueller Report failed to support the view that the Trump administration came to this level on the continuum.  (The Mueller Report goes on to state “That requires more than the two parties taking actions that were informed by or responsive to the other’s actions”.  I think this is a mistake in the report because it states “more than the two parties”.  Coordination typically implies two or more parties.  Two is enough to make coordination!)

Conspire:  To make secret plans jointly to commit an unlawful or harmful act.  The Mueller team used this threshold on the continuum to trigger a response that the Trump administration broke the law which they did not reach.

Treason: the action of betraying one’s country, the United States.  There are no reports that the Trump administration approached this level on the continuum.

One definition of treason uses the word “betray’ which has further meaning of “expose one’s country to danger by treacherously by giving information to an enemy.” Think of the number of times Donald Trump had private consultations with the ruler of Russia and no one was allowed to record what took place.

Looking at the above continuum points, I find it impossible not to categorize “collude” as a crime. But, collusion, itself, is not a specific federal crime. The dictionary definition comes close to saying that the Trump administration did commit a crime. The Trump administration did collude with the enemy of the Untied States, Russia, as outlined in the Mueller Report. Russia wants a weak United States and Putin viewed Trump as acting toward that end. Donald Trump received help in getting elected and possibly received more secret benefits from Russia. That should be illegal and a punishment should be handed out to those who participated in those acts..

References: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/07/12/what-is-collusion-215366

Posted: May 14, 2019

 

Cruise To Alaska and Canada Technology Problems

Cruise Line: Princess Cruises
Cruise Ship:
Island Princess
Cruise:
7 Day Alaska – Inside Passage
Cell Phone Service Provider:
T-Mobile
Phone: LG-V30
Date: May 1 to May 8, 2019

I do recommend Princess Cruise 7 Day Alaska – Inside Passage.  This blog post only criticizes some external factors that were a surprise to me.

Our cruse ship does offer Internet service for a fee that I think is quite high.  We decided not to pay for that service.

I am a bit of a news and weather interested person.  At home, I check both news and weather frequently.  The trip to Alaska was wonderful in many ways except for receiving news back in the main states and weather around me and for my next destination.  Weather in Alaska can change quickly and it would be nice to plan how to dress for the day before leaving my cabin.

None of my cell phone weather applications would show up to date weather during our stay in Alaska and Canada.  No weather applications worked while in Vancouver Princess Cruises dock, over 4 hours duration at dock.

None of my cell phone news applications would update and store more current news for most of the trip.  Even when arriving at Vancouver and docked better part of a day my news applications failed.

The Weather Underground application would fail to open and update way more frequently than Yahoo Weather even when back home where there is rock solid Internet.

For most of the trip, lousy e-mail into my cell phone. T-Mobile’s coverage map for Alaska and Canada is way less than the main part of the United States but it does show some coverage in places we traveled. Why then this failure?

For some reason, text messages did work at times.  At the end of the trip I traded texts with friends on board ship while in Vancouver.

Odd:  Starbucks cell phone application did work in Vancouver while weather applications failed.

In Vancouver, about a 15 minutes bus drive from boat dock to airport, I got weather application to work but frequent signal dropouts.

At Vancouver Airport Terminal. Weather applications did function.  But, not NEWS!

Our cruse ship TV failed to provide any weather channel. The only option we could find was to watch the BBC because they show the world weather as part of their news but it is a large over view lacking any detail. There was a channel dedicated to the ship’s course on a map including the current outdoor temperature only at the ship’s current location.

The AP News application updated very slowly.  I must keep the application open for AP to receive updates, it seems.  When in the air and no Internet, the full story text is missing.  This application sucks for later reading almost as bad as all the other news applications.  The New York Times would still not updating, a near total waste.

Weather Underground application started showing temperatures for locations but no expanded weather information.

The New York Times cell phone application fails to show last stories but shows white screen.  Once it updated with few days old stories and then removed them for much older stories.  Really weird and stupid.

At the end of our trip and at the Portland Oregon Airport, I was finally able to sync my Fitbit Ionic to my cell phone Fitbit application and then the Ionic now showed the correct time!!!  So for most of the trip, my Fitbit Ionic showed the incorrect time by one hour because we moved into another time zone. Why the Ionic fails to synchronize to the cell phone application time by Bluetooth is really stupid.

Portland Oregon Airport provided good cell phone connectivity.

Note:  The cruse ships are made of thick steel and as such are really shielded from cell tower signals.  The further inside you go into the ship the chance of receiving any cell phone signal is minute.   It is my guess that one may need to go outside those shield confines to increase your chance to get good phone service.  We did, at times, walk on outside decks but it was very, very, cold to do so.

Solution:  Because the weather in Alaska can change and my cell phone weather applications failed me and day trips are away from getting to needed change of clothing, I decided to take along a comfortable, rather small, back pack made by Eagle Creek (no longer made).  It has enough space for a rain jacket or pack able jacket and two side pouches for umbrellas and water bottles and a back pouch for snacks and first aid kit.

Summary: Once home I realized that not much had taken place in the United States for the week we were out of touch with the news. The ship did provide free TV in our rooms with a good selection of news channels. Problem is, I spend so little time in my cabin. I rather read the news in the dinning rooms. As for weather, absolutely no provided information from the ship and my cell phone.  My cell phone, T-Moblie service provider, really was quite awful in Alaska and even in larger cities of Canada, such as Vancouver. It was not until I got into Washington and Oregon that it provided good service.

 

Posted May 11, 2019